Back in 2017 Alex Romero took a leap of faith by creating a role for himself within Carbon Stories that wasn't available. Fast forward to the present — this young entrepreneur not only holds the title of Project Manager at Carbon Stories, but he has started his own lifestyle brand appropriately dubbed, Take Chances Lifestyle.
Rapid Growth: When did you first begin working with Carbon Stories
Alex Romero: I started working for Carbon two years ago. I was introduced to Carbon by a friend from high school. I remember I came to their yearly block party and I was mind-blown at what Carbon was doing. The good energy, how young everyone was, and the amount of passion and drive they had. I instantly knew I had to be a part of the team, but I remember Erik telling me he wasn’t sure about bringing me on the team because he didn’t have any open positions available.
RG: What changed?
AR: Long story short, I quit my job as a delivery guy for some third party delivering company and I started my current job as a Spanish interpreter for the Hispanic Center of West Michigan
. During a visit to the HCWM I overheard a conversation about the HCWM looking for a video for their 50th anniversary; the lightbulb went off in my head!! I told the HCWM that I was working [for[ Carbon (Even though I wasn’t. I took a chance!) and that we could make the video for them. I called Erik that same day super stoked and told them I had a meeting with the HCWM to talk about a project. Erik was shocked, but we had the meeting and as I walked out the door, my official role as Project Manager began.
RG: Where does your role fit in with the rest of your team?
AR: My day-to-day role consists of me reaching out to a variety of businesses, building relationships through networking events, [and] working side-by-side with my team on the projects we have. My role fits in with the rest of my team during the projects because I am the “middle man” — meaning I update the client on the timeline of the project. I have to also communicate with my team for updates on projects, any issues we have with the project, [and] make sure they have all the tools they need to get the project done.
RG: Where does the creative process start between you and your clients?
AM: The creative process starts when either the client sends in a submission form that they filled out or I reach out to a client I want to have coffee with. Then we set up a meeting (majority of the time I push for Madcap on Fulton because of free parking and I drink coffee everyday). We sit down, figure out all the deliverables for the project, and we put together a project proposal for the client and move forward with bringing their vision to life.
RG: What components are needed to tell a good story?
AM: From my experience the only component you need is a genuine story. Here at Carbon we don’t say 'no' to a lot of business that comes in. We want to share everybody's story, because there is a lot of value in doing so.
RG: How do you maintain an aligned vision with your clients while maintaining your creative integrity?
AR: The clients we’ve worked with in the past or currently work with trust our work and vision. With that being said, we still bring our ideas to the table — but clients usually have a vision for the project as well.
RG: How does Carbon Stories stay competitive within the creative industry?
AR: Carbon Stories stays competitive within the creative industry by not competing. What sets Carbon apart from other agencies is our 6 C’s: Community, Compensation, Creativity, Communication, Consistency, Client Service. We live by these values with every client.
RG: What has been your favorite project to date?
AR: I really enjoy all my projects. A specific project that has been my favorite would have to be CSM Group
. I’ve been learning a lot about the construction industry and how quick they can make a building or a school. The process and the details that go into each building blows my mind.
RG: Who is your dream client to work with?
AR: I’ve only been with Carbon for two years, so I’m always down to try a new project in any field. But if I have a dream client that I would want to work with, it would be a streetwear brand like The Hundreds
. I would also like to work for any soccer brand like The UEFA Champion League.
RG: You also have another side hustle, with Take Chances Lifestyle
. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
AR: Yes. I am the founder of Take Chances Lifestyle and we’ve been operating for two years. We are a streetwear brand that inspires others to Take Chances within themselves. A couple unique things about the brand is we have a mini-series where we bring in somebody local and we highlight them. We talk about the chances they had to take in their line of profession, a brief introduction to who they are and what they do, and why it’s important to Take Chances!
RG: What are your future goals for the brand?
AR: Goals I have for Take Chances is to host consistent pop-up shops every month, all around the city of GR. I also definitely want to collaborate with other brands in the state. Our three-year goal is to have pop-ups all over the country and continue to inspire others to Take Chances.
Jenna K. Morton is the RapidChat correspondent for Rapid Growth Media.